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The Road Less Traveled, to Nagano City


Speeding Up
Jun 6, 2007
Wondering if anyone has ridden Route 299 between Hanno and Kaize, on the
upper reaches of the Chikuma River? Obon means it is time for another trip
from Shinagawa to Nagano City, and two previous rides along traffic swollen
Routes 17 and 18 have left me with a deisre for a less-travelled way. Also
wondering about, from Ueda, Routes 144 and 406, instead of following the

As well, I wonder what is the best approach to 299 from, say, Ome (since I
know how to get there), or whether there is a better way still from Shinagawa
to 299 that I don't know about.

Any info on traffic, tunnels, amenitities, road conditions, etc. much appreciated.
Have done Ueda-Kusatsu-Nagano City-406-144- Ueda. From Nagano, 406 was a really tough long climb but without the views of the Kusatsu climb. I think it could be easier going from Ueda. While I was there it pelted it down with rain in one of the most violent thunder and lighting storms I've ever experienced - I truly feared for my life and had to shelter in a bus stop for about 2 hours.

Route 12 from 143 in Ueda gives you very nice views of the Northern Alps, while letting you avoid most of Rt 19. I've only ever gone so far up it, never as far as Nagano City but it's one of my favourite roads. No cars, just a few semi-deserted old villages with a few vending machines here and there. You climb up to 1500 or so metres then you just float along the top of the range for 40 or so kms. I think it should be possible to get to Nagano City fairly easily from there. 143 joins Ueda with Matsumoto.
Rts. 12 and 35

Last year during mid August I got caught in a hellacious thunderstorm in
Ueda. Tried waiting it out for more than an hour, but wanting to make
nagano City before dark, I pressed on when the rain let up a bit. Big Mistake.
Torrential wind and rain, the worst I have ridden in. For 30 minutes I was
pedaling and praying (to Buddhist cycling deities); then the rain let up. (I think
is simply that I got around the dogleg in the mountains west of Ueda that
seem to trap the thunderheads.)

Rt. 12 looks interesting but would take me too far to the west. (Got to make it
in time for Bon Odori!)

I was looking at Rt. 35 (and Rt. 34). No cars! Sounds like a winner. Thanks!
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